amberdover

The High King Lives

Michael’s 3rd Grade Piano Recital & Art Show October 21, 2014

Hello dear ones! This Summer Michael and I threw a recital and art show. My parents got to see what Michael had done for 3rd grade. We had tasty appetizers and a short program.

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For the appetizers I made:

  • turkey meatballs
  • shrimp cocktail
  • chips with spinach artichoke dip
  • S’mores cookies

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We enjoyed the snacks while Michael performed a few piano pieces.
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I strung up Michael’s artwork through out the living room. I also used it to decorate the table. I wasn’t able to hang everything but some of it was in a book. After the recital everyone looked at Michael’s work. I explained what we learned this past year.

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Michael brought out his Lego creation to show off as well.

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It wasn’t very formal but it was just a family recital after all. I announced that Michael had passed to 4th grade and he received a certificate. I hope to make a yearbook one day. So…how about you? How do you show off your kid’s work/ milestones? Do you do anything special?

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Summer Bucket List 2014~ Ninety-two Summer Activities October 18, 2014

Hello dear ones! This is late but here’s what we did this Summer. I hope you are inspired! We didn’t get to everything but we sure had fun. Pregnancy and other circumstances threw a wrench in some of our plans but we’ve got plenty left for next year :).
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1.play with water wall

2.checkers on trampoline

3.shaving cream art

4.ocean diorama

5.shark study (lapbook, crafts, shows on tv.)

6.ice cube boats

7.make a socktopus

8. shadow tracing

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9. read a book

10. pool noodle games (target station or wickets)

11. milk carton boats

12. family car wash

13. picnic

14. night walk @ park (look for bats)

15. play catch with water balloons

16. bowling

17. sidewalk chalk fun

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18. water gun fight

19. get an ice cream (play at Sweet Frog)

20. board games

21. living room race track with tape

22. card games

23. cardboard sledding (@  ______ Park?)

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24. feed ducks

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25. star gaze

26. visit the library or a bookstore

27. Memory lane- eat a treat while looking at scrapbooks and old videos

28. do a puzzle

29. catch/watch lightening bugs

30. play with an old toy

31. make a pillow fort

32. make a homemade video

33. make sock puppets and put on a show

34. play flash light tag

35. play hide n seek

36. dress up and play pretend

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37. potion lab

38. digital hot potato (timer on camera)

39. Play Mother May I?

40. Play Red light, green light

41. play Simon says

42. clean the floor with brush skates (watch Pippi Longstocking)

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43. dance party

44.paint a tree

45.pet rock

46.take chalk to ________ park for rocks

47. take sand toys etc for ________ park

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48. make a pet rock

49. make fresh lemonade

50. yard work to earn money for yard sale

51. candle light night

52. silly picture day

53. slumber party (Snick 90’s theme)

54. visit pet store

55. visit Target and get a $1 treat

56. balloon tennis

57. cloud watching

58. play store

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59. outdoor movie

60. water slide with tarp

61. glow in the dark bubbles

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62. ride bikes

63. make a book

64. make a comic book

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65. water pinatas

66. make homemade icecream

67. write a play/movie and act it out

68. shaving cream balloons

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69. shaving cream Twister

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70. Tell jokes

71.use glow sticks to write on the concrete at night

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72. Become a bug (magnify bugs and watch them. Pretend to be one.)

73. pillow fight

74. Play Firefly with flashlights

75. learn about baseball (lapbook, movie, & play game)

76. make watermelon star bites

77. Christmas in July

78. snowball fight

79. shoot balloon ninjas with Nerf guns

80. Bug study (Bee crafts, bug movies, & Bee lapbook)

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81.Space study (planet lapbook, movie, crafts (planet necklace, footprint rockets), & constellation cupcakes)

82.Dino study (movie, pterodactyl mobile, & dino cookies)

83. Trip to the past: old cartoons & shows, old games, & try candy popular from the past

84. Take the dogs for a walk

85. Play in the water at the park

86. See a play

87. Go to the museum

88. See a movie at Imax

89. Volunteer & donate

90. Visit the arcade

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91. Nature hunt
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92. Go window shopping at the mall

Well, that’s it.  I wasn’t able to capture every moment but we had a lovely summer with a great big surprise at the end. Lord willing, next year I’ll be able to show you Summer fun with a newborn/infant. ;)

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Pregnancy Realities, Expectactions, and Hanging Up the Cape October 3, 2014

singingBaby

Hello dear ones, I am still alive. It’s been awhile. I have indeed been in another world. It’s called morning sickness hell. I’m nearing the end of my 12th week of pregnancy. So I’ve finally got some updates and hey, even a few words of wisdom…or something like that. Here it goes.

So above you can see my lil song bird’s picture. I adore this baby inside of me, but I hate pregnancy…atleast thus far. There’s over 8 yrs between this and my last pregnancy. We were labeled infertile. So this lil one is a miracle. Over the course of my infertile years I dealt with failed fertility treatments and a failed adoption. I spent the hardest years fantasizing about pregnancy. I bought baby clothes as a hobby. My sims had big families and I smiled and thought “How cute!” when the lil avatar threw up in the toilet. Sim morning sickness only lasts a day. I was sick and depressed during my first pregnancy. My Mom took care of me while my husband was deployed. No, that won’t be me next time, I told myself. If I ever get pregnant again I will cherish every second. Even if I’m sick, I’ll just push on. I’ll force myself to get out of the bed. I’ll take medicine and eat crackers if I get sick. I can sooo do this again. I pictured me, all aglow, still doing everything as if I wasn’t pregnant. Yep, I’d keep a clean house, cook homemade meals, and school my son like normal. Somebody go back in time and slap me, please!I

I am super thankful that I didn’t get pregnant all the times I begged for it. I can’t imagine throwing up 24/7 while taking care of a toddler. I know some moms do it well but not me. Some women have easy pregnancies. My sister has mostly been like that. This has not been my lot though. Bad morning sickness, low thyroid, and a surprise biopsy have been my lot. In a couple days I’m being checked for a lump in my abdomen. Just call me “Lumpy”.

The toilet and the bed have been my best friends. Even my mom barely knows me these days. I’m a recluse. My house is a mess but my husband does his best, while he juggles school and work too. I don’t cook or clean. I heave. I haven’t been taking care of my 8 yr old. He takes care of me. Seriously, Michael is wonderful at making toast and hot tea. I haven’t been to church or really anywhere. I’m starting to feel like a heathen. And as fun as watching reruns on Netflix is, I hate living this way. I actually WANT to clean my house.

Yes, I’m probably going insane. Maybe it’s the uncontrollable crying, and the hormonal fits of rage if I don’t get some dang Cocoa Puffs. Seriously, when I’m have a craving I will kill for it. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But I did have evil thoughts when my hubby made me wait a night and half a day for that chocolatey goodness. And he just lay there sleeping soundly while I was suffering with the worst case of insomnia…grrr. Cravings aren’t as bad as the aversions though. Just thinking about McDonalds make me want to vomit. Hello, I used to know the cashier there by name! I am changing into something unhuman….no, something un-Amber. Pretty soon I’ll be howling at the moon! My guys are probably scared of me but I’ve assured Michael that mommy won’t always be so mean.

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Anywho, so my expectations were not realistic. I am happy now though. I’m eating my fourth bowl of Cocoa Puffs and it feels so good to be able to eat. I’ve lost a lot of weight from this ordeal. I need to pack on the pounds so the neighbors don’t mistake me for the Halloween skeleton. As horrible as this all sounds and as much as pregnancy stinks for me, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my life. I’ve decided to hang up my super woman cape. I’m coming to grips with reality and it’s starting to be okay…

You see, things weren’t perfect on the other side of the fence. I played the part of Super Mom/Woman very well. For several weeks, I mourned hanging up my cape. I missed how I used to “do it all”, how everything had it’s place and time. True, we’ve had some awesome times, but I know now that everying “I” did was because God gave me the strength and mental ability to do so. It didn’t take much to completely reduce me to a bedridden grouch. I wasn’t very joyful as Super Woman. Honestly, I was stressed and angry. My theme song was “Human” by Christina Perri. I went around lamenting that “I’m only human!”. I was mad that I was juggling everything, and most of it came out on my husband.

Something happened when I got sick. I didn’t have the energy to juggle. My husband had to take up the slack. For the first time in ten years of marriage, my hubby really started taking care of me. He brought me roses and gave me a foot rub. I quite enjoy my daily foot rub. It’s not paradise though. Things pile up quickly and it’s getting stressful for my hubby to do everything. My prayer is for middle ground. I don’t want to go back to doing it “all”. I think it’s good for my guys to do more. But I want to do some things too. I miss all the time I spent with Michael. He’s played way too many video games lately. I miss my own cooking. I appreciate my husband’s efforts but watching him try to cook a full course meal is stressful. I miss my version of cleanliness. I miss church. I miss driving to Walmart anytime I feel like it. I miss my friends.  Pampering isn’t that fun when you feel like crap. I’m ready to start living.

Cosplay of superheroes

I know that life won’t ever be the same. Homeschooling may never be the same. My blog will probably change. Heck, who knows how I’m gonna parent baby # 2. I have plans for trying different methods…cloth diapers, unmedicated child birth, breast feeding longer, and baby wearing. But if all those plans fly out the window I know I’ll still be a good mommy with God’s help. I won’t ever be perfect. I never was. I just thought I was “super”. I wasn’t. My God is the only super one.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was doing a Bible study on the book of Daniel. There’s a story in there (Chp 4) about Nebuchadnezzar. He was a Babylonian king who thought he was the stuff because Babylon was a great city. He didn’t recognize that God had given him everything. Because Neb boasted and idolized himself, God took away his sanity for 7 years. The man left his palace and roamed the wilderness like an animal. When the 7 years were up, Neb humbled himself and recognized God as the sovereign over the kingdoms. Neb was only king because God allowed him to be. Neb’s kingdom was then given back to him.
William Blake - Nebuchadnezzar (Minneapolis)
I feel like I’ve had a Nebuchadnezzar experience. My insanity has been pregnancy, but I pray that things are starting to get better. I’ve still got pride issues but I’m a work in progress. Praise God, pregnancy doesn’t last seven years! ;)

General updates:

    • Weeks before I got pregnant, we gave our hens away to my friend Erin. They are very happy in their new home. It would’ve been so hard to take care of them at this time. Thanks Erin for being a blessing!

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    • A week ago our guinea pig Snowball went back to the pet shop. We had no time to give her the attention she needed. Hey! More room for the new baby :).

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    • My big sister will be having her baby boy any day now. I can’t wait to meet my nephew. My Mom is thrilled to have an abundance of grandchildren!
    • The ultrasound tech gave us a hint on the gender of our lil song bird. I’m not telling though, not until we know for sure. Chris and I are still haggling over names. Yeah, we had 8 years to think of names, but all those don’t feel right anymore. Back to the drawing board.
    • The baby is very healthy. I’m not throwing up as much so maybe I will be too someday soon. My baby is super active and puts on a good show. I love my lil song bird.
    • My best buddy Hannah wants to throw me a shower and she’s going to be my doula. She’s given birth completely natural twice and she’s a La Leche league leader, so I’m in good hands. I’m still confused about cloth diapers. Hannah is like a stinkin’ cloth diaper genius. Maybe I should buy a doll and practice.

Blue Stuffed Animals Alva Baby Cloth Diaper

  • I’m loving the midwives I see. So far my experience has been ten times better than my prenatal care my first pregnancy. The midwife works with the hospital so I should be giving birth at the hospital….just unmedicated. I’ve been told this hospital is like a nice hotel.
  • My hubby graduates in May, Lord willing. Pretty soon he will be applying for jobs. Please keep us in your prayers. Our lives are changing dramatically.
  • I’m not sure when this blog will get to some form of normal. I’ve had a few ideas floating around. We’ll just have to see. If you’re still subscribed, I thank you. That encourages me to continue.
  • My book…hmm. This was supposed to be the year of the book. It looks like the year of the baby instead. My book is still important to me. Family comes first though. My NaNoWriMo plans will depend on my health and sanity.
  • Crafts and homeschooling…yeah, one day at a time. Our school may not be as hands on as it used to be. Still, I’m sure I’ll have something to share every now and then.

Thanks again for reading. Hopefully I’ll write again soon. God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: We actually did some pretty kewl things for our Summer bucketlist before I got pregnant. Although it’s Fall, maybe I’ll get around to posting those adventures. We’ll see…

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A Miraculous Surprise August 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — amberdover @ 12:57 pm

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Hello dear ones! Back in 2009 my husband and I were told that both of us could not conceive naturally and that if we didn’t get pregnant within three months, we would never have more children. Flash forward to August 2014. It’s been over 8 years since I had my son. I’m 6 weeks pregnant! Praise God! I spent many years weeping over our infertility issues. I put my body through damaging fertility treatments. We experienced a painful failed adoption, when the twins we were going to adopt, miscarried. Endometriosis and other frustrating health problems have wracked my body since the birth of my son.

A lot has happened these 8 years. My father went to be with Jesus in 2009 at the age of 46. I moved him near me and cared for him during his last year. My husband went through two deployments, two shoulder surgeries, and now he’s finishing up school as a disabled veteran. My son just started 4th grade in homeschool. We got in a bad wreck in January. My two best friends both had babies and my oldest sister became pregnant. The Lord called me to Belize and I went in June. My husband and I decided to try again (we never prevented anything but we started being intentional). I said “being open to receive” rather than “trying to conceive”. We knew it’d be a miracle and frankly I had gotten to a place of contentment and comfort with an only child. My husband had stars in his eyes though.

So when the pregnancy test turned positive in my hand I swore someone else had peed on my stick! :) I took two more to be certain. I’ve had many many negative pregnancy tests these 8 years. I literally laughed when I saw the positive. It took having the doctor do a urine and  blood test for it to sink in that I was really pregnant. Now I’m having strong morning sickness and I’m getting the picture. My husband kisses my belly every morning and talks to the little one or ones in there. I’ve never seen him so happy. In fact, I’ve never had my guys treat me with such love until now! Michael is my little doctor. He even rubbed my feet yesterday!

Anywho, this has been an interesting year. The Lord is full of surprises and it’s exciting to see what he’s doing. I can testify that Jesus can open the barren womb. It’s all about His timing. As I look back, I realize that I was not ready for a little one before. I could not have handled morning sickness while caring for my sick father. I would not have been able to take my son to Disney World or take a family vacation to D.C. if we had a little one. I wouldn’t have taken a missions trip to Belize. I doubt my son and I would’ve had such an eventful party filled year in homeschool last year, with a baby or pregnancy.

The timing is a little strange since Chris will be graduating right after I give birth. But I know God has us in His hands. Things are already different this pregnancy. Homeschooling while pregnant is….interesting. Two years ago I saw this awesome documentary called “The Business of Being Born”. It changed my views on labor. I told the Lord that I would do things differently if he ever gave me another child. I’m holding to that promise. This time around I’m scheduled to see a midwife. She works with the hospital and helped my best friend Hannah with her last two pregnancies. With Hannah’s help as well (as my Doula), I’m excited. I’m nervous too but hopefully I’ve built up my pain tolerance over the years. There are so many things that I want to do differently and naturally. It feels like starting over. I’m older…slightly more mature. I’ve had years to form educated opinions. I’m not the naive 21 year old that pulled her baby and guitar along in a wagon. Don’t ask.

So please keep us in your prayers and we start this new adventure. Please pray for the baby’s health. I will be 30 when I give birth, Lord willing. It’s been a long time.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

End of the Year Parties: Art & Music July 28, 2014

Hello dear ones!  We finished our last week of school (back in June) with subject based parties. Today I want to show you the Art & Music themed day we had. Also, afterward I’ll share ideas for the History party that never happened.

  • We began our Art & Music party with a fantastic lunch! I made “tuna piano” sandwiches and Rice Krispy Paintbrush treats.
  • I decorated the table with Van Gogh’s Starry Night and with Musical Luminaries. I printed out old sheet music and wrapped it around mason jars. I put fake candles inside.
  • We then had fun by splattering composers and painting the classics. We used paint filled water balloons and waterguns. The Mona Lisa and Mozart really got it!

Our last day of school, I had planned on having a huge History party. If you’ve kept up with my blog then you know, we majored in History this year. Honestly, we were burnt out. We did soooo much with History this year. I just didn’t have it in me to do another thing. I had some good ideas though and I’d like to share them.

  • Create a time machine trip in our back yard. Make a Jonah in the Whale tent, Greek columns,the pyramids, the Roman Colosseum, the Underground Railroad, and more. I was going to use cardboard and other inexpensive items to set it up.
  • Then I was going to have Michael do some of the Historical crafts and games we skipped this year, as he went around to each period in time.
  • Lastly, I was going to make the Historical treats that we never got to. You can find these ideas on my Pinterest under my SOW (Story of the World) folders. You’ll find ideas from Creation to the 1800’s.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our parties and maybe they’ve inspired you!

Here’s our first party: Science~

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-science/

Our second party: Language Arts & Math~

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-language-arts-math/

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 Pssst! You can find more ideas here:

EOYPartyArtMusic

 

End of the Year Parties: Language Arts & Math

Hello dear ones! We finished our last week of school (back in June) with subject based parties. Today I want to show you the Language Arts & Math themed days  we had.

    • We began our Language Arts party by making black out poetry. Basically, you take a page in a book and you black out everything except for the words you want to use to make a poem. You start by circling the words you want to use (random words scattered across the page) and then you start coloring over the rest. We used a blue crayon. Black or white out would’ve looked better.
    • Spelling games at http://www.kidsspell.com/
    • We made Story Stones & made up stories. You find several smooth stones, cut out interesting pictures, and modge podge them to the stones.
    • We ended our Language Arts party with poetry cookies. I used a poem we had learned this year, by Lord Byron.
    • Our Math party consisted of us playing Math board games. We got the Multiplication and Division Space game at the Dollar Tree.
    • Michael made shapes using popsicle sticks.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these ideas. Join me later for our last party, Music & Art (plus ideas for the History party that never happened):

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-art-music/

If you missed it, here’s our first party: Science~

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-science/

God bless & remember the High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

Pssst! You can find more ideas here:

EOYPartyLangArtsMath

 

End of the Year Parties: Science

Hello dear ones! We finished our last week of school (back in June) with subject based parties. Today I want to show you the Science themed day we had.

  • We began our day with snow cones. We mixed colors with different flavors of Koolaid. Then we put them all together to make a unique flavor for our snowcones.
  • We made sand volcanoes by digging a hole in the sand, filling it with baking soda, and adding vinegar. I think this experiment would work best at the beach.
  • Lastly, Michael made a nature frame by gluing leaves and such on a frame we got from the craft store. We modge podged the leaf so it would keep it’s color and stay stiff. It still looks good, weeks later.

This was an easy and fun day. Join me later for our second party: Language Arts & Math~

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-language-arts-math/

& Lastly, our Music & Art party (plus ideas for the History party that never happened):

http://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/end-of-the-year-parties-art-music/

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Pssst! You can find more ideas here:

 

EOYPartyScience

 

 
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